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Serbia’s Best-Kept Property Secrets: Where to Invest for Maximum Returns

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Real estate investment is recognized worldwide as a reliable and simple wealth-building strategy. As of 2024, Serbia is on the rise as a hotspot for major investors, building companies, and forward-looking individuals eager to channel their funds into property. 

The nation is experiencing a construction boom, with a rapid increase in contemporary housing projects and sector investments. People are increasingly directing their extra resources to purchase cottages and apartments, eyeing future leasing possibilities. This approach not only improves the financial standing of Serbians but also offers foreigners a pathway to Serbian residence and tax residency via property investment. 

Rapid growth of Serbia’s premier ski spots

Serbia’s ski resorts are a year-round magnet for tourists. Kopaonik, the largest, offers over 60 km of slopes and 24 lifts, plus a national park and spa. Zlatibor combines skiing with wellness, with over 30 km of slopes, 8 lifts, and attractions like a lake and dinosaur park. Tara caters to nature enthusiasts, boasting over 20 km of slopes and 4 lifts, all surrounded by parks and lakes.

The popularity of these resorts is on the rise, with a 6% increase in overnight stays in early 2023 compared to 2022. Accommodations, especially in Kopaonik and Zlatibor, are in high demand during winter.

Zlatibor is currently a hub of construction activity, with new buildings cropping up to host an increasing number of visitors. It’s an investor’s haven, with a 78% surge in foreign guest stays in early 2023. Real estate is booming here. Zlatibor accounted for 900 of the 1,500 apartments sold in the top tourist spots in the first half of 2023. The average price for new properties is EUR 1,600 per square meter.

Kopaonik is also seeing development, albeit at a slower pace, which makes new apartments less available and more expensive than in Zlatibor. Yet, affordable options exist just outside the town center, with prices averaging EUR 1,150 per square meter in Brus and EUR 1,380 in Raska.

How Serbia’s spa resorts are heating up the market

Serbia’s spa resorts, long favored for real estate investment, have grown in popularity due to their therapeutic thermal and mineral waters. Yet, they are now vying more fiercely with one another.

In 2022, Sokobanja outshone Vrnjacka as Serbia’s top spa destination, with over 767,000 overnight stays, reflecting its rising popularity. Known for its spa centers, Sokobanja is also a culinary destination with its wide array of restaurants.

The surge in visitors and apartment demand has spurred developers to ramp up construction in Sokobanja. Reports from local real estate agents indicate a consistent increase in apartment sales, primarily for investment.

Statistics from the Republican Institute show that Sokobanja has added nearly 400 new housing units in the past three years. With a population of just over 13,000, where most residents own homes, it’s likely these new units are intended for rentals or weekend getaways.

In Sokobanja, property prices start at around EUR 1,300 per square meter on the outskirts, while prime locations near downtown command about EUR 1,600 per square meter.

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Conversely, Vrnjacka experienced a downturn in apartment sales in 2022. The Republican Geodetic Institute’s data indicates that new apartments in Vrnjacka averaged EUR 1,325 per square meter, with older units costing about EUR 200 less per square meter.

Property investment trends across Serbian cities

Belgrade, Serbia’s epicenter of commerce and culture, is a top spot for buying apartments. Its municipalities, responsible for 40% of the country’s housing projects, are construction hotspots. Prime areas for investment, especially for rentals, include Savski Venac, Dorćol, Slavija, Vračar, and Novi Beograd, where property prices are high but offer quick returns.

In Savski Venac’s Belgrade Waterfront, prices average EUR 4,400 per sqm. Vračar’s rates are around EUR 3,500 per sqm, and Dorćol varies between EUR 3,000 to EUR 4,200 per sqm. Novi Beograd’s prices exceed EUR 4,600 per sqm. Rent for a 50 sqm apartment may well range from EUR 700 to EUR 1,200, depending on the area.

Smaller apartments, particularly studios and one-bedrooms, are in demand. This is why they are a wise choice for investors targeting short-term rentals in Belgrade, a city frequented by tourists and hosting numerous events.

Novi Sad’s economic growth has spurred urban development, which boosts its appeal for property investment. In 2022, central apartments sold for over EUR 2,000 per sqm, with rents for a 50 sqm apartment between EUR 400 to EUR 600. The city’s cultural events, like the EXIT festival, attract tourists, which is great for its rental market. As Serbia’s second-best city for investment after Belgrade, Novi Sad offers a rich cultural heritage and is an attractive destination for investors and visitors alike.

For property investments in Serbia, consider Pančevo, Niš, and Kragujevac as well. Pančevo offers lower living costs, with 2022 apartment prices at EUR 1,000 per sqm, and city center rates at EUR 1,350 per sqm. Two-bedroom apartments rent for around EUR 400 monthly.

Niš, the third-largest city with many students, had new apartments averaging EUR 1,400 per sqm, and central properties at EUR 1,700 per sqm. A central 50 sqm apartment could be rented for EUR 300 monthly. Kragujevac has comparable investment and rental rates to Niš.

Go for your Serbian dream

Dare to start your adventure in Serbia’s beautiful places, where the mountains are full of chances and the spa resorts are relaxing and can make you money. From the busy city life in Belgrade to peaceful suburban and rural spots, every place has its own special way to make a good investment and become a place you’ll love.

Think about whether you want a cozy little house or a stylish apartment. To be sure you’re choosing smartly, it’s best to turn to the experts at Serbia Wealth. They’ll make sure you understand the housing market, make the best investment, and even help you get residency in Serbia via investing in prime country’s properties. More information on the subject you will find here. Get into the world of property purchase in Serbia, and watch your investment dreams grow!

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